[BVC-CHAT] Bike Advocacy
thomaswoodfin at yahoo.com
Tue Sep 30 21:28:33 CDT 2008
Brett's message is spot-on and timely. If I had, as a member of P&Z, such a map series of preferential cycling routes, it would be very helpful in reviewing submissions to ensure that development incorporates walkable and rideable lanes.
Each of us is familiar with certain parts of the city & county - even adjacent counties. I wonder if there is a way to put up some form of city map at a readable scale by which the 'public' could indicate preferred routes, dangerous intersections, roadways that need assistance in communicating cyclists' presence, etc? Interactive GIS? Or I'm more than willing to sit down with an old-fashioned hard copy map and draw it out with highlighter markers.
The City of Bryan has a great GIS systems as well.
Some of the routes on the BVC Cyclists Map webpage could be a start...
Thomas M. Woodfin, ASLA RLA
3215 Innsbruck Circle
College Station, TX
----- Original Message ----
From: Brett <texafornia at gmail.com>
To: Jean Marie Linhart <jmlinhart at gmail.com>
Cc: Brazos Valley Cyclists <bvc-chat at philebus.tamu.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 9:07:11 PM
Subject: Re: [BVC-CHAT] Bike Advocacy
I had a good meeting today with College Station's Greenways Coordinator, Vanessa Garza. She is also the defacto Bike Coordinator of sorts. She is the one who will force the City to put up signage and put in bike lanes and such. This person is the missing link we've needed for quite some time.
The problem is, she's not a cyclist.
She has asked me several times about what to do at certain roads and her first ideas are informed, but need help. - Assuming bikes don't want to go down WD Fitch because traffic is too fast and things like that. Her latest impression was to not put "share the road" signage up on 40 west because it's too dangerous. I pointed out that tons of bikers ride there and the fact that it is "dangerous" is exactly why there should be signs. (If you're into that.) She's got great intentions and is smart as a whip, she just doesn't ride and know what we know.
I told her that sometimes traffic requires more bike amenities, not less. But the best thing to do is start meeting with the BVC and get an idea of what cyclists want instead of guessing. You have to know where the bikers want/need to go and build for that. She's taken the first step and started asking me, but I'm just one guy familiar with just one part of town.
We should hold a very small and comfortable group meeting with her to help her out. We don't want to intimidate her, so something low-key and informal would be cool. This lady could get a huge amount done for cyclists if we help her out.
On a side note, writing this reminds me of just how frustrating the City's passive-aggressive cycling approach is. They want to keep cyclists off of certain roads by scaring them by not putting signs or lanes in. People who don't bike decide which roads bikes don't want to be on. This is instead of proactively talking to cyclists and finding out where they go and trying to make those routes safer.
We could hold a series of map meetings and find routes that lots of people ride that we feel could use improvements. Giving that to Vanessa to work with would be a vast improvement over us going after Council for stuff that's already happened. No matter how much we hassle them, they still don't have much clue about what we want unless we map it out for them.
Being the City's GIS Coordinator, I can help a lot by getting maps together. If the BVC put together a nice map showing where we want amenities, the Planning Dept. would have something solid to go by. I've got three interns right now that we could have putting BVC's points of interest on a map. Submit that quarterly to Planning and then you've given them a real document of our wants. Save each one and we can go back and show what we asked for and when.
On Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 1:29 PM, Jean Marie Linhart <jmlinhart at gmail.com> wrote:
A bunch of the bike advocates got together for lunch today to talk
over our initiatives for the next year or so.
To advocate for bicycles, you can show up and speak at Citizen Speaks
for City Council in either Bryan or College Station.
You show up 15 or so minutes early for the meeting and register to speak.
All you have to do to be an effective bike advocate is get up there,
give your name and address, and say that you are a bicyclist and want
to support bicycling transportation. It is also always nice to say
how wonderful you find biking in the local area.
It is critical to get bicycling before City Council and City Planners
and to keep it there. To this end we need people to show up at City
Council meetings in both College Station and in Bryan.
Fancier talking points are:
Signage -- we'd like to see more bike route and share the road signage
around town and on rural bike routes.
Connectivity -- crossing Hwy 6, getting across Texas Avenue,
University Drive can be difficult. We have some really good bike
routes, but they do not all connect and they should.
Updating the bicycle master plan (College Station) into the
We also discussed Jeff Paradowski's bike giveaway and the hard hats
for little kids bike helmet giveaway. It would be nice to have some
training (for the kids) involved with this. These events would happen
With regards to TAMU campus biking, we discussed issues of blocking
bike lanes, need for showers in new buildings, and indoor bike
Other topics included: organizing a courteous mass ride, getting
contact information together from TXDoT and TAMU transportation
officials, CS community policing (bike patrol?), rural signage, need
to promote showers and indoor bike parking for campus buildings and
businesses around town.
Everyone is trying to schedule time to attend city council.
Jean Marie is working on a list of problematic traffic signals for CS,
organizing the next meeting, looking into kids bike safety training in
20 minutes or less, and attending some city council meetings.
Jill is working on the kids Bike/Helmet/Training idea.
Scott is getting coordinating with/getting coordinates for TAMU transportation.
Jim is making contact/getting coordinates for TXDoT.
Rudy is thinking about Courteous Mass.
I am sure I have made some mistakes above and missed some points;
those in attendance should feel free to add to and correct the above.
Tentatively we'd like to schedule a next lunch meeting for October 29.
I will take the initiative of inviting the transportation planner
from CS and the Greenways coordinator from CS to attend.
If anyone is sitting out there wanting to be involved in bike
advocacy, i.e. are willing to attend city council, and/or willing to
take on "to-do" items, let me know and I will add you to my list.
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